The Grass Falls Here

In previous posts, I have mentioned how the Canary grass will relax in the late season, falling down onto the surface of the stream, at the water’s edge. The posts also mentioned how beneficial this is to the creation of fish and invertebrate habitat, above and below the surface. The recent snows that we experienced was a perfect time to take a few photos of this annual phenomenon, so this is exactly what I did. The melting snow had permeated the grass with moisture, bringing out the rich fall gold color of the stocks.

The Canary grass was bent down over the stream channel, during the last snowfall on Bighill Creek. This occurred on one of the many lengths of healthy stream channel, where native willows and trees already exist. Eventually, the grass will fold down right into the water, where it is a relatively stable form of fish and invertebrate habitat.

After a good look at this photo and many others, of Bighill Creek, you can see how important it is to preserve such natural beauty. Last night, I watched a Nova documentary on the restoration of a huge area of land in the headwaters area of the Yellow River. It amazed me how some very smart people, which are residents of the area, restored the entire land that they have been living on for thousands of years. These folks did it all by hand labour and the government paid them to do it. The net result was a more beautiful and productive land for both nature and farming. The government investment was returned by the increased productivity and the happier folks that now live a more rewarding life.

We have our own natural treasures, in this land, but we must protect them, before they are lost, some forever. It is evident that people that live near the Bighill Creek, and use the path system regularly, would agree about the importance of natural reserves, like the Bighill. This protection includes all life and habitat under the water’s surface, as well. Recently, I watched another television documentary, regarding the loss of our cod fishery down east. The program showed how both Norway and Iceland managed to save their cod fishery, before it was gone.

The Canadian cod fishery has been gone for over 30 years, and there is now sign of recovery yet. Then, I watched on the TV news, how both the natives and commercial lobster fishers are having a war over who gets the last of the lobster fishery in this country. Greed seems to be the prime motivation for the war. How can we manage our fisheries with politics playing such a major role. The DFO biologists that believe in sustainable fisheries have to cope with treaty rights that were designed in an earlier age and don’t particularly respect the danger of a collapse in the resource. The management of the amount of the harvest should be the priority here!

This is an issue for all Canadians, even if it is all happening on the east coast. We can start doing our part, here in the West, by taking care of our own resources, including the fisheries. Maybe this will help re-enforce the need for a new attitude towards the natural world and so it should be. Fighting to protect our natural resources, like our fisheries, is in everyone’s interest and this is a good fight. Those that fight to protect their own interests, at the cost of the resource that they are fighting for, are in it for the money, and not just their livelihood. A well managed fishery can benefit all. Just look at the Norway and Icelandic solutions.

Some more old Classic Wet Flies
This is a closer look at how the Canary grass from both sides of the stream channel, are covering the entire width of the stream. There could be trout under the cover of the grass.

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